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Sunday, August 28, 2011

21K in 1:47 - Determination is Nothing

Warning: Lots of expletives used in this post. I have been listening to too much DMX lately.Sometimes he fuels my emotions with his raw, dripping, unbridled and unvarnished narrative on life (how shit goes down).
Arrrrrrf
Yesterday, as scheduled, we went for 21.6K. Sikuku had a back problem. Gach had a stomach problem. Kirer's friends developed cold feet and altogether panicked. Mark had a restless, irritable baby. So they missed the run, unfortunately.
After being handed my ass by Gach and GK in May 16th, I had evolved as a runner. I had cut weight, abandoned the tarmac that was killing my legs, bought a bike for X-Training during rainy days or for recovery, started using a field to run, got a running partner, increased my daily runs to 60mins from 40 mins and had discovered a not-too-crazy pace for my speed runs. I wasnt worried about none this time. I had also realized that being determined is nothing without dedication to the sport. Dedication means putting aside all excuses and all I-dont-want-to-be-too-crazy-about-this cop-outs that lead to mediocrity which is a stock-in-trade for most Kenyans. If you want more, they act like you are crazy. Dedication means risking being regarded as a little over-the-top by the average guy who thinks being fit is enough. It means being out there every morning. Come fire or water. And I had been dedicated since May. While training, every time I remembered how I was heavy and slow, an insane look glinted in my eyes and I trained harder. So that loss made me better. Made me move from being a determined slob to a dedicated guy. Like I keep saying, tough ain't enough. You gotta be trained.
So I wasnt worried about none. In May I wasn't shit and as DMX would put it, the game got fucked. Yesterday I was the shit and was ready to bring it on.
I was disappointed that Gach didn't come coz I wanted to test my speed against him. Was I ready for GK?
I ain't worried bou' shit. That is what DMX would say.
Arrrrrrf. This dog is ready.
So we stretched. Warmed up. Some guys drank water. GK got acquainted with Borura and Kirer.
And we were off. I had this. You know what am sayn?
Arrrrrrf
Okay, what was the strategy here? Uh, lets see....
No strategy dawg. I told myself. Just stay in the pocket. Staying in the pocket means keeping busy, never relaxing and never running too fast and gassing out. It means running fast and staying within that fast speed range while not exceeding it and not slowing down. Runners call it a tempo run but I like using fight words. I stayed inside the pocket. Thats what I did. I am doing it. Thats what Rampage would say.

We immediately split into two. Borura and I moved to the front while Kirer and GK stayed behind us.

I felt comfortable so I increased the pace. After about 1K, Borura came up beside me. I wasnt lookin back for nothing so I sped up and Borura seems to have decided to stay with me. We sped up. By the time we were approaching 2K, I couldn't hear GK and Kirer behind us.

Unbeknownst to me, I had left the house without tying my shoe laces. But my shoes fit well so I didn't notice it. After 3Kms, I noticed that my left shoe lace was dangling. I stopped at the foot of a hill to tie it and Borura ran on past me. After tying it, I resumed and sped up the hill to Galleria (5K) which I reached in about 23mins and I glanced behind and couldn't see Borura. That was how I parted with Borura.

I have been running 21K every Sunday so I decided not to hold back for nothin coz this distance cant do nothin to me. No chance of hitting the wall or none. I increased my pace. When I reached 8K and glanced back, I couldn't see anyone. I recalled that GK is training for 42K. Is he planning to make the first 10K easy so that he can outrun us on the way back? Well, if thats the plan, I told myself, its my job to give him a big ass distance to close before getting to me. So I increased my speed and widened the gap. And increased. And I widened the big ass gap. When I reached Hillcrest (about 9K), I stopped to tie my right shoe lace which I had just noticed, was untied too. I took the chance to take in the landscape and traffic behind me. I couldnt see GK.
I resumed and ran on. After 49 mins, that is when I started feeling the weight of my feet. But it wasn't anything to slow me down too much.
I sped on and reached the turning point (10.8K) in 55 mins. On my way back I saw GK about 800 metres from the turning point, meaning I was about 1.6K ahead.
The way back is downhill and I felt strong so I pushed and pushed. I used surges and was basically on a fartlek run.
I ended up finishing in 1:47. GK in 1:52, Borura in 2:05 and Kirer in 2:10.
I know I could have done better if I was chasing someone or if someone was breathing down my neck but that is another story. It was what it was.

Now, today I did a 60mins easy recovery run.

What have we learnt:
  1. We are still very slow so we need to work on our speed even as we maintain or increase mileage because speed is none without mileage.
  2. I need to do more speed training manoeouvres. There are several videos on the net.
  3. I need to become stronger and lighter. Need to shed 3 more Kgs.
  4. I need more hills. I need my garmin too and better shoes. Fortunately I have found someone who can help.
Here we pose for a pic after having breakfast. GK, myself, Borura and Kirer. Gotta lose that cheesy marvin that makes me look like some shaggsmodos Limuru resident.
Cheers.
A



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